With regard to the above node by Orange Julius
(that the Great Wall isn't particularly discernible
), there is additional
information as to the visibility
of the Great Wall from space.
An American astronaut
, Gene Cernan, told the Straits Times (a reputable
; THE newspaper in Singapore
) that he saw the Great Wall from outer space with his own eyes. He was giving an interview
in Singapore, when he attended the Asian Aerospace
2004, a biannual airshow.
Eugene A. Cernan
served aboard Gemini
IX (June 3-6, 1966), Apollo
10 (May 18-26, 1969) and Apollo 17 (December 6-19, 1972). During his first space mission, he became the second American to walk in space. He was also slated
in backup positions for Gemini 12, Apollo 7 and Apollo 14. Having spent a precise
556 hours and 15 minutes in space, out of which more than 73 hours was spent on the Moon
, he is uniquely qualified
to speak on this subject.
His exact quote was: 'At Earth orbit
of 160km to 320km high, the Great Wall of China is indeed visible to the naked eye
.' He also confirmed that it was not observable
from the moon; however, only continents and oceans are perceivable
across that distance.
The skill involved with sight
ing the Great Wall, apparently, lies in know
ing where to look and eyeball
ing it hard enough. From this we can deduce
that the Great Wall is not easily noticeable
from space. Depending on your knowledge
, your perseverance
, how good
is and the weather condition
s, you might (or might not) be able to see the Great Wall.
Therefore, when other space cadet
s such as the newbie Chinese
astronaut Colonel Yang Liwei
said that the thin, undulating
structure could not be view
ed from space, he probably lacked one or more of the factor
s listed above. (I stand corrected: I found out that he orbited at about 350 kilometers from Earth; perhaps he was too far away to be able to see the Wall.)
Although the notion
that the Great Wall was easily discernible
in space was blasted as an urban legend
's position that it could not be perceive
d due to its narrow width
and its earth-like colour
ation also needs revision
ly, the fact that the Great Wall is perceptible
from outer space is about to be struck
from Chinese textbooks in mainland China
because of Col. Yang's report.
The Straits Times Interactive - http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/
You can view the Straits Times article "You can see the Great Wall from space" online at http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/news/story/0,4386,240173,00.html? from 14th March 2004 to 17th March 2004, only, after which it will be archived and inaccessible except for a fee.
Biographical Data of Eugene A. Cernan - http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/cernan-ea.html
Orbit details of Chinese manned space mission: "Report: Manned space mission to orbit earth 14 times" - http://www1.chinadaily.com.cn/en/doc/2003-10/09/content_270451.htm
An Associated Press report:
"China to Correct Great-Wall-In-Space Myth" -